Community Covenant and Campus Mission

Mission Statement

In partnership with the Church, the purpose of William Jessup University is to prepare Christians for leadership and service in church and society, through Christian higher education, spiritual formation, and directed experiences.

Student Life Mission Statement

The mission of Student Life is to champion the student experience by creating holistic programming and Christ-centered learning environments.

Goal 1: Every student will succeed and thrive at Jessup.
Goal 2: Every student will encounter Christ in a community of faith, hope, and love.
Goal 3: Every student will leave ready to lead and serve with a sense of vocational calling and purpose

Doctrinal Statement

We believe in the one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Holy Bible and made known in Jesus Christ our Lord,

We believe that Jesus the divine Son became human, was born of a virgin, ministered in word and miracle, died for our sin, was raised bodily from the dead, ascended to God’s right hand and is coming again for his people,

We believe that the Holy Spirit is presently ministering through the Christian community, empowering lives of godliness and service,

We believe that the Holy Bible is completely God breathed, true in all its teaching, and the final authority for all matters of faith and practice,

We believe that Jesus Christ established His church on earth to carry out his saving mission among all ethnic groups and formed her to be one holy people,

We believe in God’s saving grace that calls forth from all people: faith, repentance, confession, baptism, and new life and ministry through the Spirit,

We commit ourselves to the teaching, practice, and defense of these truths until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

William Jessup University was birthed in the heritage of the independent Christian Churches and identifies itself as non-denominationally Christian. The University is committed to teaching theology from an evangelical perspective and providing a distinctively Christian environment for its community of faith. The University welcomes students from all Christian backgrounds to help deepen and explore faith together.

Educational Philosophy

William Jessup University fulfills its mission with an emphasis on education that prepares Christians for servant leadership through the church, the one institution commissioned by God to fulfill His plan in the world. Such an emphasis mandates a curriculum which prepares people who are thoughtful, compassionate, culturally sensitive, and capable of integrating personal faith and vocation in all avenues of society.

Educational Goal
The primary goal of education at William Jessup University is the integration of faith and learning. In pursuing this goal, we accept the unity of all knowledge under God and perceive no contradiction between the truth of the Christian revelation and that of scholarly investigation. WJU offers both general education courses that provide the broad scope of human knowledge and a biblical studies core that establishes a perspective which gives coherence and purpose to that knowledge.

Educational Objectives
The integration of faith and learning is facilitated by a curriculum and learning environment which:

  • Offer an appropriate balance between courses in Bible and theology, the liberal arts, and professional studies, and erase any artificial barriers between these areas of study;
  • Encourage a well-conceived system of values and beliefs;
  • Celebrate and honor all cultural groups;
  • Personalize the educational process by emphasizing the priority of relationship-building throughout the University experience.

University Learning Goals

William Jessup University desires that its graduates will exemplify transformational leadership in church and society through the integration of their faith, learning, and critical thought in the areas of Christian literacy, communication and intellectual skills, professional competence, and global citizenship.

WJU students will be prepared to:

  • Articulate the relevance of Jesus Christ, His teachings, and a Biblical worldview to their personal and professional lives.
  • Communicate effectively across cultures.
  • Demonstrate critical, analytical, and creative thinking.
  • Exhibit competence in their chosen disciplines.
  • Engage in a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, character formation, and service to their local and global communities.

COMMUNITY COVENANT

PREAMBLE

William Jessup University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning dedicated to the holistic formation of students—their academic, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual formation.

This Community Covenant presents who we are and who we want to be—a wonderfully diverse community set apart by faith and for faith. It reflects our best collective self, and the vision of community we want to affirm and build.

Our University community is comprised of many different groups of people including students, faculty, staff, and others. We represent a range of theological positions within the Christian tradition, and the members of the community reflect many different stages in Christian growth. Thus, it is important that we have a common set of expectations, principles, and values for our life together. These core principles and values form our social compact—our Community Covenant.

Those members of the University community who do not share the Christian faith are asked to affirm this Covenant, not as a statement of personal spiritual conviction but as an affirmation of our community vision and agree to abide by its principles.

This Covenant is your invitation to join us. It applies to all who voluntarily choose to become part of the William Jessup University community—board members, students, and employees—and is structured broadly around the Great Commandments: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).

LOVE GOD

We affirm the Lordship of Christ (Acts 2:36) and the authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

As the William Jessup University community, we acknowledge the teachings and values of Jesus Christ as the guide for our actions and programs as much as humanly possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our community has chosen Him and His life-changing message as our guide. Furthermore, the words of Scripture provide the authoritative, ethical, and spiritual foundation for our community. Jesus is Lord and the Bible is our authority.

LOVE OTHERS

We value all persons as created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)—honoring, loving, and serving one another.

We cannot love God and hate our neighbor. We are to love God and show it by how we live and interact with each other. We value all people—and life—as Jesus did, and we see each other as having a God- given purpose. We speak and act respectfully and with an attitude of service towards each other. Christ urged us to serve rather than be served, so we commit to have this approach with each other in the University community.

We support the weak (Micah 6:8; Isaiah 1:17)—always helping the wounded, the oppressed, and the needy.

We come from many backgrounds and many of us have had to overcome significant challenges in life. Christ said we should help those around us, especially the weak and the wounded; so we look with extra care to those who are hurting. This includes the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized in our society. Christ calls us to show care and compassion toward one another and to all in need. We do this with those on our campus and in our local community.

We respect authority (Romans 13:1-4)—affirming the God-given authority of those in leadership over us in the university and beyond.

We affirm the teaching of Christ and the Scripture regarding those in authority over us. God places them in authority for our good. So, we follow the guidance of those authority structures to the extent that they are consistent with the rule of law, character of God, and His Word.

We emphasize reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)—expressing grace and forgiveness in conflict.

We choose to act with maturity and grace towards those with whom we disagree. We value and pursue peace with others. When necessary, we strive always to model a community deeply committed to reconciliation and forgiveness.

LOVE OURSELVES

We pursue spiritual formation (2 Corinthians 5:17)—willingly engaging in spiritual disciplines and activities.

We actively engage in practices that will draw us closer to Christ, and at the same time avoid practices that will draw us away from a relationship with Jesus. We affirm the historical practices of spiritual formation, belonging to a local church, and Christian service.

We practice holiness (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3) and embrace purity (Philippians 4:8-9)— extending this to word, thought, and deed.

As a community we seek to:

  1. Demonstrate the Christian virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  2. Love and support that which is good in God’s eyes.
  3. Embrace purity in all relationships and reserve sexual intimacy for marriage between a man and a woman.
  4. Practice speech that is edifying and uplifting.
  5. Model self-control and healthy lifestyle choices.

 

We live with integrity (Colossians 3:9-10)—committing ourselves always to truth and honesty.

For the community to flourish, it must rest on a foundation of trust and civility. We, therefore, covenant to practice authenticity and honesty. Integrity requires that we take ownership and responsibility for our mistakes.

This vision for Christian community presents a high standard. By God’s grace, we seek to embrace it and uphold it. Consequently, this Covenant articulates the foundational framework for our community, subject to the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Statement of Faith, and Board Policy.

More specific applications of this Covenant are expressed in the particular policies for faculty, staff, and students within the University.

Chapter on Sanctity of Human Life

As a Christ-centered liberal arts community, William Jessup University shares a common set of beliefs, values, and goals.

The following Community Covenant Chapter on the Sanctity of Human Life is consistent with both the teaching of Scripture and the Christian church tradition (and its origins in the Restoration Movement) that has defined the University since its inception as San Jose Bible College in 1939.

This Community Covenant Chapter on the Sanctity of Human Life guides the standards and behaviors of the board members, students, and employees of William Jessup University community and is subject to the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Statement of Faith, and Board Policy.

This Chapter shall also guide the University’s participation in any benefit or health plan. We hold three foundational assumptions:

  • Human life is uniquely sacred from conception to the grave.
  • The sanctity of life is among the broadest and most inclusive of our moral obligations to other human beings.
  • Life is precious and in God’s hands.

(Jeremiah 1:4-5) (Genesis 1:26-27) (Psalm 139) Therefore, we believe that:

  • The intentional destruction of innocent human life is unbiblical and contrary to God’s will.
  • All human beings, at all stages of existence, with every quality of experience, reflecting every type of human diversity, and encompassing every possible quality of relationship have worth and dignity in God’s eyes that cannot be measured and should not be violated.
  • The University desires to be a community that is committed to engaging in dialogue about human life issues with humility, sensitivity, compassion, and prayerfulness.

(Proverbs 6:16-17)

Chapter on Human Sexuality

Preamble

William Jessup University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning dedicated to the holistic formation of students; their academic, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual formation.

Our University community is comprised of many different groups of people including students, faculty, staff, board members and others. We represent a range of theological positions within the Christian tradition, and the members of the community reflect many different stages in Christian growth. Thus, it is important that those wishing to join with us in fellowship share a common set of expectations, principles, and values with respect to human sexuality.

This Community Covenant Chapter on Human Sexuality is consistent with both the teaching of Scripture and the Christian church tradition (and its origins in the Restoration Movement) that has defined the University since its inception as San Jose Bible College in 1939.

This Community Covenant Chapter on Human Sexuality guides the standards and behaviors of the board members, students, and employees. William Jessup University community and is subject to the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Statement of Faith, and Board Policy.

This Community Covenant Chapter on Human Sexuality is rooted in three foundational assumptions.

  • We affirm the human dignity of all individuals, whether or not they agree with this Chapter in the Community Covenant.
  • Individual identities are not based solely on gender identity or sexual orientation: as Christians, our primary identity is in Christ.
  • The University desires to be a community that is committed to engaging in dialogue about human sexuality, including sexual orientation and gender identity, with humility, sensitivity, compassion, and prayerfulness.

The Purpose of Sexuality and Sexual Behavior

 

We believe that:

    1. Humans are “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of God, strategically and purposefully as the biological gender with which they were born.
    2. God created humans as sexual beings—male and female—to reflect His image.
    3. God designed heterosexual union between a male and female, as husband and a wife respectively, as His good and perfect gift to reflect the complementary relationship between Christ and His Church, and this is the model for healthy human sexual relationships.
    4. Sexual intimacy is only appropriate within the context of a lifelong commitment in a faithful, monogamous, heterosexual marriage between one biological male and one biological female regardless of how current state or federal law defines marriage. We consider anything beyond this as sin and contrary to the teaching of Scripture.
    5. Members of the University community are called to steward the good gift of human sexuality, consistent with the convictions expressed above.

(Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 19:4-9; Ephesians 5:31-32; Hebrews 13:4; Mark 10:4-12)

On Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

 

We believe that:

    1. In our sin nature, we can experience frailty, ambiguity, and perplexity in various areas of human sexuality, including but not limited to sexual identity and sexual orientation.
    2. God’s redemptive love can transform us in all areas, including how we experience our sexuality and gender.
    3. Individuals have the ability to choose their behavior and decide how they wish to experience and express their sexuality and gender.
    4. Some individuals may struggle with their gender identity and wish to explore living as a particular gender other than that with which they were biologically created. While we support any individual in their struggle with sexual identity, we do not affirm any decision to identify as a gender other than their biological one, including but not limited to a decision to pursue a medical course of action to physically change one’s biological gender.

(Titus 1:12; 1 Peter 1:13-15).

Implications

 

We believe that:

    1. An important role of William Jessup University as a Christ-centered institution is to reflect Christ’s love, and God’s instruction on matters concerning human sexuality. We view these responsibilities as mutually inclusive.
    2. The University, at its discretion, may provide an opportunity where individuals can, under the guidance and direction of qualified University personnel, express feelings and concerns around gender identity and sexual orientation in an appropriate setting that extends sensitivity, confidentiality, compassion, and care in a healthful manner consistent with Christian teachings.

Community Covenant Chapter on Science and Faith

Preamble

As a Christ-centered liberal arts community, William Jessup University shares a common set of beliefs, values, and goals.

The following treatise on “Science and Faith” reflects our commitment to open dialogue and unity among Christians. Such unity is grounded first and foremost in the person of Christ Jesus, not our stance on creation and evolution.

We hold three foundational assumptions:

    1. God’s creative acts are trust-worthily recorded in the Bible and necessary for our understanding of His redemptive purposes.
    2. The Bible affirms that God created the universe, but it does not do so in scientific language nor does it fully disclose God’s methods in creation.
    3. The Christian scientific endeavour presupposes that the universe exists, that it is to some degree knowable through human rationality and the methods of the natural sciences, and that it reveals “the eternal power and divine nature” of its Creator (Romans 1:19-20).

On Origins of Life

We believe that:

    1. One God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—exists as an intelligent, transcendent, holy, loving Spirit who existed prior to the formation of the material cosmos. God the Creator is totally other than and essentially distinct from His creation.
    2. As supported by Scripture, all entities and phenomena have been brought into existence by God’s powerful actions and in accordance with His purposes, not by chance.
    3. God made His creation to be good (Genesis 1:31).
    4. The purpose of all creation is to praise God (Psalm 148:7-13). Every element in creation is for the praise of God and praises God in a way appropriate to its created nature, in some cases merely by its existence.
    5. God’s distinct creative acts culminated in the first human beings whom He created “in His image” (Genesis 1:26-27); a characteristic that distinguishes human beings from all other creatures and bestows on them unique significance, value, and worth.
    6. The first human beings fell into sin through a historical act of disobedience to God (Genesis 3:1-7) which brought death to humanity (Romans 5:12) and has affected all of the creation in significant ways. Nonetheless, much evidence of the original goodness remains.
    7. Even today, in our fallen condition, God intends humanity to manage, tend, and care for His earth according to His purposes (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). God opposes all abuse and exploitation of His creation.
    8. We live under universal, created laws and moral absolutes.
    9. The material world and the cosmos are neither autonomous, eternal, nor self-generating. God is intimately involved in maintaining and upholding His creation. Indeed, all created reality holds together through God’s sustaining power (Psalm 33:6-7; 104:27-30; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). Thus, all progress—whether human or otherwise—depends upon the redemptive activity of God.

Implications

We believe that:

    1. A biblical view of the origins of life does not constrain legitimate scientific inquiry and research because we accept two sources of information: biblical revelation and natural revelation.
    2. God is the source of both biblical and natural revelation with respect to His creation. Apparent discrepancies should result in deferring conclusions in favor of a careful and humble re-examination of the presuppositions, theories, and interpretations that led to the disagreement.
    3. Different positions must be subject to ongoing honest evaluation and scrutiny, and respectful debate within the framework of a biblical Christian perspective.
    4. Members of the WJU community may differ on the timetable for creation in Genesis 1, conclusions about young earth or old earth, and the extent of changes in life forms over time (e.g. speciation).

Even as we affirm our own convictions, we strive to maintain an attitude of respect and charity towards others who may hold different views on these matters.

Chapter on Preservation of Unity and Community

As a Christ-centered liberal arts community, William Jessup University shares a common set of beliefs, values, and goals.

The University community is comprised of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff who are Christian believers and who hold essential beliefs and community understandings in common as referenced in the Statement of Faith and Community Covenant. In the event that members conduct themselves in a manner not consistent with Biblical standards and these statements, then the University will pursue corrective actions to establish unity and restore those individuals into fellowship within the University community. Thus, it is important that those wishing to join us in fellowship share a common set of expectations, principles, and values with respect to the preservation of unity and community when faced with disputes.

The following Community Covenant Chapter on Preservation of Unity and Community is consistent with both the teaching of Scripture and the Christian church tradition (and its origins in the Restoration Movement) that has defined the University since its inception as San Jose Bible College in 1939.

This Community Covenant Chapter on Preservation of Unity and Community guides the standards and behaviors of the board members, students, and employees of William Jessup University community and is subject to the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Statement of Faith, and Board Policy.

We hold three foundational assumptions:

  • The University and its Board of Trustees are committed to restoring fellowship, when possible, with individuals who are out of conformity with community membership standards as delineated in the University’s Statement of Faith and Community Covenant.
  • The process of restoration is predicated on the Biblical doctrines of sin, grace, repentance, and restoration.
  • We believe that there is always a potential pathway by which differences or conflicts may lead to change, growth, and reconciliation.

(Romans 3:23, Colossians 3:5, 1 John 1:16, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 2:11-14, Acts 3:19, 2 Corinthians 7:9, Jeremiah 31:19, Luke 17:3, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Galatians 6:1).

Therefore, we believe that:

  • We must eschew legal recourse and rather, ask that all of those facing disputations with each other or with the University to respect the Bible, as it commends us to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the tenets of the Christian faith.
  • In accordance with the University’s Employee Policies, we agree that, at the outset of employment, any claim or dispute arising from or related to the University’s essential creeds and understandings first be settled through biblically-based mediation as recommended and resourced by the University’s administration and confirmed by the employee (Title IX issues will be addressed through the University’s published Title IX processes).
  • The final adjudication of discipline is entrusted to the Board of Trustees, who has the authority to place individuals under discipline or to otherwise restrict participation in community membership or limit the benefits thereof.

(Matthew 18:15-20,I Corinthians 6:1-8).

Do we want to make the full version of this viewable/downloadable  on My Jessup? Currently the only parts of the covenant that are on there are the first Preamble, Love God, Love Others and Love Ourselves sections: http://my.jessup.edu/studenthandbook/community-covenant-and-campus-goals/